Tag Archives: RE100 companies

How Apple is helping its suppliers move to 100% renewable power

By Adele Peters, Fast Company

Every Apple store, data center, and office now runs on renewable energy, a milestone that the company reached last year. But the tech giant is also working on the much larger goal of helping all of its suppliers make the same transition.

“If you look at our corporate carbon footprint, over 70% is in the supply chain,” says Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental, social, and policy initiatives, who previously served as head of the Obama-era EPA. “And, of course, those aren’t facilities that we own or operate. But we wanted them to have this access to the same high-quality clean energy that we did.” Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Apple

RE100: Apple is an RE100 member. In April 2018 the company achieved 100% renewable electricity powering its global facilities across 43 countries. Apple is also helping its manufacturing partners lower their carbon footprint, working with them to install more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide by 2020. Other RE100 members are collaborating with their suppliers to help them transition to renewable energy. Read about their actions by clicking the link, above.

MORE NEWS & RESOURCES


NEW CARBON SEQUESTRATION INITIATIVE 

The Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP), a partnership between the American Forest Foundation (AFF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is a new approach to globally significant climate mitigation that taps into the carbon storage potential of the 290-million acres of family-owned U.S. forestland. The program creates a new market for private landowners, giving them another option to offset forest management costs and generate income from their land. Learn more here.

RENEWABLE HYDROGEN

South Australia unveils plans for 100% renewable hydrogen economy, Renew Economy
Recent studies have shown that the cost of wind and solar has fallen so dramatically, and the cost of electrolysers is also expected to fall at the same rate, that renewable hydrogen will be able to compete on costs with “brown” or “grey” hydrogen, used from coal or other fossil fuel sources.

Previously Posted

  • The slow, inexorable rise of green hydrogen, PV Magazine
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) believes the production of hydrogen from renewables has the potential to deliver 19 exajoules of energy in 2050. Some 16 TW of solar and wind power generation capacity – 120 exajoules – may be needed to generate green hydrogen or related products from electrolysis by that point. Today the world hosts around 7 TW of total power generation capacity, around 1 TW of which comes from solar and wind, according to IRENA’s Hydrogen: A renewable energy perspective report. An International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen stated fossil-fueled production of the fuel is responsible for “annual CO2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”.
  • Electrolysis breakthrough could solve the hydrogen conundrum, by Alexandr Simonov, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Published by Phys.Org.
    Australia, with its abundant sun and wind, has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives.

Minnesota wind-solar hybrid project could be new frontier for renewable energy

By Mike Hughlett, Minnesota Star Tribune

PELICAN RAPIDS, MINN. – The wind turbine and small solar array planted in a cornfield near this northwestern Minnesota town look modest. But the hybrid power plant could be a new frontier for renewable energy. By capturing both sun and wind power, it can provide a more stable supply of electricity than either energy source can provide alone. And given its small size, it is relatively easy to hook into the electricity grid. “It delivers low-cost clean energy right to where the power is being consumed, and it leads to the retention of energy dollars in the community,” said Dan Juhl, the Minnesota renewable-energy pioneer whose company developed the project. Renewable-energy analysts said it makes a lot of sense. Read more here.

Photo by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota: Dan Juhl

Additional Recommended Reading 

Corporate News

  • Jeff Bezos unveils sweeping plan to tackle climate change, CNBC
    Bezos says Amazon is committed to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. As part of the plan, Amazon has agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from vehicle manufacturer Rivian. Bezos expects 80% of Amazon’s energy use to come from renewable sources by 2024, before transitioning to zero emissions by 2030. The company also announced a $100 million donation to The Nature Conservancy to form the Right Now Climate Fund, which will work to restore and protect forests, wetlands and peatlands around the world, with the goal of removing carbon from the atmosphere.
  • Google’s jaw-dropping renewable procurement proclamation, GreenBiz
    Google just declared a new record in corporate renewables by announcing the largest procurement deal ever. The tech giant Thursday revealed it would purchase a 1.6-gigawatt package of agreements, including 18 new wind and solar deals across the globe.

Solar-Powered Crop-Drying Technology

Purdue Startup Awarded $150K, Inside Indiana Business. A Purdue University-affiliated startup has received federal and state grants worth $150,000. JUA Technologies International says it will use the funding to further develop its solar-powered crop-drying devices. The company was founded by husband-wife duo Klein Ileleji, a professor in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue and Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna.

New ACEEE Report

Halfway There: Energy Efficiency Can Cut Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half by 2050. Energy efficiency can slash US energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% by 2050, getting us halfway to our national climate goals. We can achieve almost all these savings, worth more than $700 billion in 2050, by dramatically scaling up government policies and programs. This report examines 11 packages of efficiency opportunities in every economic sector and the policies that could unlock each of them. We find the greatest savings from efficient and electric vehicles, industrial efficiency and decarbonization, transportation system efficiency, upgrades to existing buildings and homes, zero energy new buildings and homes, and appliance and equipment efficiency. (Fact sheet here.)

Featured Initiative

The U.S. Climate Alliance represents 40 percent of the U.S. population and a $9 trillion economy, greater than the third largest country in the world, and U.S. Climate Alliance states are on track to meet their share of the Paris Agreement emissions target by 2025.

The US Remains the Market to Beat for Corporate Renewable Purchases

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The U.S. made up the majority of last year’s deals, accounting for 8.5 gigawatts of the global total. That trend holds this year, with companies in the U.S. signing up for nearly 6 gigawatts, or 70 percent of deals worldwide. Texas accounts for 40 percent of U.S. activity this year, thanks to its rich wind and solar resources and deregulated electricity market. While wind has dominated the corporate renewables market in years past, solar is beginning to catch up, as Greentech Media has covered. Of the various types of corporate deals, virtual power purchase agreements remain the default choice for many customers, allowing them to circumvent utilities and the green tariff programs they offer. BloombergNEF analyst Kyle Harrison said the U.S. has reached “triple digits when it comes to virtual PPAs.”  Read more here.

Previously Posted Virtual Power Purchase Agreements

ALSO IN THE NEWS

How an organic dairy’s quest for clean energy spread solar across Wisconsin

Written by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

As Wisconsin’s largest-ever solar project comes online this summer, the multi-site, multi-state partnership behind the development offers a potential model for how organizations can band together to meet clean energy goals. The Butter Solar Project consists of 32 megawatts installed at 10 locations feeding into 13 municipal utilities in three states. A who’s who of co-op grocery store shelves including Organic Valley, Dr. Bronner’s and Clif Bar have signed on to buy the renewable credits along with the city of Madison. It all started with a quest by Organic Valley to operate on 100% renewable energy before the project mushroomed into a much larger initiative, said Eric Udelhofen, project director for the developer, OneEnergy Renewables.
Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Organic Valley Becomes 100 Percent Renewably Powered, Company News Release

Photo by OneEnergy Renewables: The largest installation of the Butter Solar Project, in Arcadia, Wisconsin. Organic Valley “provided financial assistance to more than 200 farmer members to install solar arrays on their dairies.”

About Frank Jossi

Frank Jossi is an independent journalist and consultant based in St. Paul and a longtime contributor to Midwest Energy News. His articles have appeared in more than 50 publications, including Minnesota Monthly, Wired, the Los Angeles Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Technology, Finance & Commerce and others. Frank has also been a Humphrey policy fellow at the University of Minnesota, a Fulbright journalism teacher in Pakistan and Albania, and a program director of the World Press Institute at Macalester College.

RE100: Organic Valley is one of 191 RE100 companies that have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Organic Valley is a US-based cooperative of farmers producing award-winning organic milk, cheese, butter, soy milk, and other products.

Small Missouri utility proposes big pivot to clean energy in latest resource plan

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Missouri’s smallest investor-owned utility is charting a dramatically different course two years after being acquired by new owners. The Empire District Electric Co. in Joplin, Missouri, serves about 173,000 customers in southwestern Missouri and parts of Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Its current capacity consists of about 65% natural gas, 30% coal and 5% renewables in the form of wind and hydropower. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Lucia Bourgeois / U.S. Department of Energy

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook’s Papillion data center goes live

Written by Jodi Baker, The Wire, OPPD Blog

For Nebraska, it’s meant an investment of more than $1 billion, including 1,000 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs, so far. And that’s just for the first phase. The second  phase, set for completion in 2023, will bring more construction and another 100 permanent jobs. During a grand opening event June 13, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said, “OPPD was really the linchpin in helping make this deal happen, because they were able to offer Facebook 100% renewable energy.”

The company is partnering with the Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation to invest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at the high-school level. The company’s skilled and technical trades program will build on the schools’ existing STEM education to benefit more than 1,000 students the first year alone. Read more here.

NEBRASKA’S LARGEST UTILITIES’ EV PROGRAMS & INCENTIVES

Papillion’s Facebook data center, now officially online, part of company’s global infrastructure

By Reece Ristau, Omaha World-Herald

On Thursday, two years after construction began, a portion of the data center officially came online, connecting Papillion with Facebook’s network of similar centers that allow 2.38 billion monthly active users to share photos with friends, post life updates and stay connected from thousands of miles apart.

Facebook also is investing in Nebraska’s alternative energy sources. Committed to using 100% renewable energy to power its data centers, the company is buying wind power from the Omaha Public Power District, which in turn is purchasing it from the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project in Dixon County, about two hours north of Omaha. Read more here.

Enel Green Power’s Photo of the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm in Dixon County, Nebraska

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & VIEWING

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS & OPINION

APPA’s National Energy Innovator Award presented to NPPD, NPPD News Release
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) was recognized with the Energy Innovator Award from the American Public Power Association at the Association’s national conference held in Austin, Texas. NPPD was one of nine public power utilities recognized for service to APPA and the public power industry during the conference.

Innovation now NPPD’s calling card, Kearney Hub Editorial
NPPD has been on an innovative trajectory for at least the past 10 years, diversifying the ways in which it generates electricity, opening doors for innovation in communities such as Norfolk and Kearney, and re-purposing resources for experimental projects, such as the Sheldon Station plant that’s being retooled to burn hydrogen in a process that produces no greenhouse gases. In recent years, NPPD has been investing more in wind energy, and it’s helping local communities to explore how to broaden the use of new clean energy — including Norfolk with a battery storage experiment and Kearney with its 53-acre solar farm. 

LES CEO receives national public power award, LES News Release
AUSTIN, TX — Kevin G. Wailes, chief executive officer of Lincoln Electric System, received the Alan Richardson Statesmanship Award at the American Public Power Association’s national conference in Austin, Texas, on June 11, 2019. This award honors public power leaders who work to achieve consensus on national issues important to public power utilities.

Live Stream of Papillion Facebook Data Center’s Grand Opening

Facebook Announcement 

It’s an exciting morning in Papillion! Facebook invites you to join them via live stream for their Grand Opening ceremony this morning at 10:30 a.m. on the Papillion Data Center Facebook page.

Recommended News Story & Video

Powering your Posts: NE Nebraska wind farm powering new Facebook data center, Siouxland News 

Previously Posted

AWEA Fact Check: Wind power remains affordable despite flawed study

By Michael Goggin, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” explains that analysis based on flawed input assumptions will result in flawed results and conclusions. A recent textbook example of that comes from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCE) and the special interest group Institute for Energy Research (IER). IER has been down this road before, and once again their analysis isn’t grounded in reality. Renewable energy increasingly saves consumers money even without the federal incentives, which are currently being phased out. The following table uses real-world performance data to calculate the unsubsidized levelized cost for newly installed generation.

Read more here.

Top Image: Interactive map created by researchers at the University of Texas Austin’s Energy Institute. “Check out all the green—that’s where wind is cheapest.” – Michael Goggin

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

RESIDENTIAL SOLAR

Madison-backed rural solar energy projects to begin operations

By Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal

All told, the five projects will add 40,000 solar panels to the region and produce enough electricity to power 2,500 average households, the Engineering Division said. Also, the projects have been designed to establish more than 50 acres of pollinator-friendly habitat, which will be planted beneath the solar arrays. The city’s investment supports its renewable energy goals, included in the “100% Renewable Madison Report.”  Read more here.

Photo Credit: Dan Barron, Organic Valley, an RE100 company.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Solar proving fruitful on farmland: A Solar Power World special feature

Feeding a growing population and meeting renewable energy demands has brought farmers and solar developers into partnerships centered on land designated for agricultural uses. The wide-open acres of American farmland accounts for just under 40% of the landmass in the United States, making them sought after for PV systems for many reasons. Photo Credit: Hyperion Systems

MORE ON STARBUCKS & LEVEL10 ENERGY 

  • What makes Starbucks’ latest clean energy transaction unique, GreenBiz
    “LevelTen continues to provide valuable niche services to C&I customers by leveraging their innovative software platform,” said the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) in an emailed statement. LevelTen is one of REBA’s founding members. “Today’s announcement with Starbucks further demonstrates its ability to create new business models and could enable smaller companies to enter the clean energy market by simplifying the contracting process.”
  • We’ve Got 20 Million Reasons to Push Harder, by Bryce Smith, LevelTen Energy Blog
    Bryce Smith is the founder and CEO of LevelTen Energy. Prior to LevelTen, Smith co-founded OneEnergy Renewables, a national developer of utility-scale solar projects.

TRANSMISSION NEWS

Grain Belt Express one step closer to construction after regulators approve sale, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Missouri utility regulators on Wednesday unanimously approved Chicago-based Invenergy’s acquisition of the Grain Belt Express transmission line.